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Wordsworth 250 - celebrating the 250th anniversary of William Wordsworth's birth

250 years of William Wordsworth

With the exception of ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud,’ what do we actually know about William Wordsworth?

The poet is synonymous with daffodils and his picturesque Lake District dwellings of Dove Cottage in Grasmere and Rydal Mount. On this, his 250th anniversary, we discover that Wordsworth the man, as well as his acclaimed works, as are relevant today as they have ever been.

Wordsworth and his contemporaries from the romantic movement left their mark on arts and culture in Cumbria, the dramatic landscapes never fail to inspire masterpieces from every artistic field. Wordsworth can be considered a radical, never shying away from challenging established norms and pushing boundaries.

Wordsworth 250 - celebrating the 250th anniversary of William Wordsworth's birth
William was also a passionate environmentalist, and fiercely protective of the natural landscape, a cause that is more relevant than ever today. The spirit of this great man lives on in the Lake District, Cumbria. His life, philosophies and works can provide the inspirational framework for creativity, well-being and fulfilment.

Wordsworth 250 - celebrating the 250th anniversary of William Wordsworth's birth

Do something radical

How do you fancy walking Wainwright’s famous Coast to Coast taking in 190 miles of sheer beauty? Starting in the gorgeous coastal village of St. Bees with it’s imposing red cliffs, walking on through rolling countryside, Lakeland mountains and breath-taking vistas. The great man recommended you take three weeks, allowing yourself plenty of time to ‘stand and stare.’

Wordsworth 250 - celebrating the 250th anniversary of William Wordsworth's birth

Indulge your creative side

Maybe the old medieval art of longbow making will appeal to your inner warrior. There are several forgotten skills that are being revived in Cumbria. You could try your hand at glass blowing or wool spinning. You could take a course in mountain photography and what better location than the breathtaking Lakeland fells to grow your Insta followers with your new-found camera skills.

Reach out to the heavens

Sometimes we just need to find out more about ourselves to feel connected and alive. Cumbria is one of the best areas of the country for night skies because of our lack of light pollution. Get in touch with your spiritual side and gaze up at the stars while you contemplate life and the universe.

Wordsworth 250 - celebrating the 250th anniversary of William Wordsworth's birth

Ponder

Let the daffodils do for you what they did for Wordsworth.

Ponder the big questions lying amongst a host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Try something now

Shinrin-Yoku is new to these shores and is known locally as forest bathing. This Japanese art allows to you block out the rest of the world and tune into nature. The sights and sounds of the forest allowing you to open up your senses and engage with your inner self.

Improve your well-being

Spending time with animals is good for the soul. There is nothing more relaxing than walking with fell ponies or the majesty of Heavy Horses. You could even mediate with Clydesdales or a sleigh ride pulled by huskies.

Challenge yourself

Swimming in one of Cumbria’s many lakes is an exhilarating experience. In June you can join hundreds of others in Windermere for the Great north swim. Its also an opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause.

Immerse yourself in local culture

Agricultural shows have been a staple of the Cumbrian calendar for centuries. Meet foxhounds, see the horses, pigs, sheep, chickens and cows being judged. Witness traditional Cumbrian sports such as wrestling, meet local craft producers and taste Cumbrian artisan chocolates, cheeses, pies, gins and much more.

Wordsworth sightseeing

Dove Cottage

This traditional Lakeland cottage was the home of the poet William Wordsworth. In 1799, Wordsworth fell in love with Dove Cottage and Grasmere whilst on a walking tour of the Lake District and within a few months had set up home here with his sister, Dorothy. It was whilst living here that Wordsworth produced the most famous and best-loved of his poems and Dorothy wrote her fascinating Grasmere journals.

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Cockermouth

Cockermouth was the birthplace of William and Dorothy Wordsworth. Their family home, Wordsworth House provides fascinating insight into how the future poet and his family lived back in the 18th century.

Explore Cockermouth


Allan Bank

In 1808, the Wordsworth family moved to Allan Bank, a large home in Grasmere. Here, their final two children were born. Allan Bank is open to the public. The rooms have been left as a blank canvas and can be used by visitors as a place to draw, paint, write or create art.

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Hawkshead

The pretty village of Hawkshead is steeped in history and heritage ranging from the ruins of Hawkshead Hall, built by Medieval monks, the 15thC St Michael's Parish church and court house to later buildings such as the grammar school, 1855, which William Wordsworth famously attended.

Explore Hawkshead


Rydal Mount

Rydal Mount, Wordsworth's best loved home for 37 years. Here he wrote many of his poems and revised and improved much of his earlier works including the Prelude and the famous 'Daffodils' poem. He became England's finest poet and went on to be poet Laureate to Queen Victoria.
St. Oswald’s Church

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